tv [untitled] CSPAN June 21, 2009 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT
for decades on how we can ensure a health safety net for all americans. this bill is not the first time we've looked that the matter. it has been a struggle over many, many years, and i come to this table as someone who through her graduate training and social work have been both a student and a teacher and a college teacher on the history of social welfare in this country, so i know how we got to where we are today, and i know where we've been and let@@@@@ @ the second world war had ended in democracies were emerging from the ashes. we wondered how this country and others who were reclaiming themselves would provide important safety nets for their people. that was social contract with their people, that you could have a reliable income in old age and health care when you needed.
when democracy who was a great ally of ours, the british government, pit a single-payer system. they went the u.k. way, but our country had a meeting called "the detrick agreement," where great labor and the great manufacturers met to talk about not the u.k. way, but what would be the u.s. away -- " the detroit agreement." s capitalism, that is entrepreneurship, that does believe in a private sector so they came up with a way where we would have employer-sponsored benefits to a private insurance mechanism, but ensure at the same time a social contract that our democracy has stood for and others around the world. that's how we got to employer
benefit, employer-sponsored benefits. it was good then and it is good now. so i come to this table the usa way, not the curbings, way. i believe an employer sponsored benefits and i would hope we would look that the and how to build on that. at the same time, though, they were the big guys that met. my father was a little guy. he ran a little grocery store. my grandmother was running the little baker shops where my uncle, one of whom was a bronze star winner had come back to work. they had no access to health insurance. they were too little. it cost too much, but my father, my uncles believed in two things. they believed in capitalism, and they believed in their government. what happened was their government stepped in and my father for the first time and my uncle his access to social security. my father was so relieved that
though we had private insurance to protect my mother should something happen to him that social security was his safety net. he believed in public options, but also what we invented also because of our genius because he could not afford private insurance, along came something which was a new approach called bluecross and blueshield which was insurance companies to be run by the non-profit sector. dad was thrilled. he could finally buy hospital insurance. it was called hospitalization which would have protected him or any member of his family if we did it. so my father then again had a public option, in addition to a private option for his income security, but he now had a profit option run by a non-profit, but the non-profits ran a skew. in maryland bluecross and blueshield flipped out. they went from non-profit to
profit to profiteering. the ceo would sell the blues, get a $14 million golden parachute. the bluecross board in maryland was making more than the enron board. who stepped in? the maryland general assembly. so we have private insurance that was to be a non-private tool that needed the requirements of either a general assembly or state legislature with backbone to step in or a governor who wanted to ensure and protect the people. so now we're back on track in maryland and i'm very proud with where the police are going, but what did that mean? it meant that the blues, could or could not be a tool that could go one way or the other and so when we go the non-profit route, we have to go how non-profit route goes. let's look at how they go in the 60s. we knew we could not pass again a uk way and nor did we want to
go that way, but we wanted to pass something to protect seniors who were terrified that if they went into a hospital they would go bankrupt. so we passed medicare and we also passed medicaid to be a safety net for people who could not afford private insurance. the same argument we're hearing against medicare are the same arguments we are hearing now. the same arguments against medicare are the same arguments we are hearing now. government-controlled, centralized bureaucracy, ho, hum, hum, ho. we've heard that before and yet you try to cancel medicare. and also in came private insurance with med igap. well, we all know what happened in the '90s. it didn't turn out too well, but now we have a chance in the 21st century. so we have tried at every time to come up with new ideas.
they have served the public well. they often require requirements and refinements and this is the time now where we close the gap and we build on what we know we can do. public and private options, a public option that holds the private options couldable so we don't have to depend upon the backbone of a budget you are and be worried about the philosophy of a governor and who they appoint as a state insurance commissioner. that's why i'm for a public option, but i believe we have no option not to do anything. the time is now. the need is compelling. i don't sit here representing interest or institutions, though i represent some pretty terrific ones, nihs in my state, fdas in my state and god art space agencies in my state. i've got nobel prize winners who
work for the federal government and i also have watermen and farmers. i'm thinking about maryland. i'm not thinking about centralized this or private that or whatever. i'm thinking about the pem wopl who sent us here, and i would hope we all think about the people. let's find a common ground. let's find a sensible center. let's come up with it. i think about the 60-year-old woman who was a clerk in the saturn dealership that i went to talk with. that dealership is now going to close. she's married to a 62-year-d man who worked for one of those defined benefit companies, but they closed. defined benefit now means defined bankruptcy. they don't have health insurance. cobras this or cobras that don't mean anything to them. so at 60 and 62 they have no place to go. they should be able to turn to us because they believe in their government and they believed in free enterprise.
i think about the self-employed guy with an autistic son, two other children in their family. he is so stressed between lower profits, rising costs. he needs a mental health benefit. their marriage needs counselling and the tension and aggravation and fear that they're working under. he needs to be able to have health insurance for his family and he needs to also have that mental health benefit. i think about the young girl who is 24 years old with crohn's disease, a law student 21 years old with kroen's disease. she doesn't have access to a doctor, she's going to get sicker, she's going to end up in the hospital, she could face even death. what about the water and the farmers that i represent? we all want to eat local. but we also have to have water and farmers to do that. you don't think about me representing farmers, but i do. and i represent watermen,
they're called fishermen in your state, watermen in my state. and i'm not sure what they call you in seattle. but at the same time, i know that their wives are working in small business to get the health insurance so the men can be out on the land or out on the water. and those small businesses are shrinking. so let's remember the people. let's now work to find that sensible center. right now former leaders are off talking, tom daschle, bob dole, howard baker. if they can talk together and work together and find that common ground and sensible solutions, so can we. so for 50 and 60 years, we have been struggling on how to do it. we do believe in capitalism. we do believe in our government. but let's come together now and be able to find that way. you don't like this, then don't try to jet it. let's come in with it.
let's say goodbye to the invasion of the body snatchers, thank you. xxxxxx this should send a message to the people of pakistan that the people of the united states has made a long-term commitment to stand by their side in the region and their home against insurgents and extremists. however the conference report also contains billions of dollars in unrequested spending that is largely unjustified and certainly nonemergency. president obama's message to the congress was to keep funding focus on the needs of our troops
and not to use the supplemental to pursue unnecessary spending and to keep earmarks and other extraneous spending out of the legislation. despite the president's insistence not to include unnecessary spending in the supplemental, the conference report contains a number of earmarks and unrequested congressional program additions. i'm disappointed that the majority chose to use the supplemental as a vehicle to add billions in unrequested funding and policy proposals which should have been fully vetted and considered on their own merits while at the same time stripping out out the senate passed detainee proposal entered by senators lieberman and graham. the conference report is being used by the appropriators as a backdoor for funding -- quote -- "base requirements." house allegations for 2010, commonly referred to as 302-b allocations, cut defense spending by $3.5 billion, reduce
international affairs funding by $3.2 billion. in other words, a slight of hand of adding nonemergency program funding to supplemental appropriations is becoming all-too familiar of a way of skirting fiscal discipline by increasing discretionary spending above congressional discretionary outlines. in other words, we are continuing that was unfortunately common in the previous administration. again, about cash for clunkers. i mean it's remarkable. on june 16, 2009, citizens against government waste wrote a letter to all members of the senate stating this provision -- quote -- "is really another bailout for the auto industry. american taxpayers have already spend $85 billion and we now own two automotive companies -- we and the unions. why do we need another bailout for the auto industry?
the cash for clunkers provision has no place on a bill that provides emergency war funds. mr. president, i couldn't agree with the citizens against government waste more. "the wall street journal" wrote in a june 11, 2009 editorial -- quote -- "congress wants to pay you to destroy your car. as economic policy this is dotty. it encourages americans to needlessly destroy still useful cars and misallocate scrace resources from another perhaps more productive uses in order to subsidize replacement. by the same logic, we could revise the housing market by paying everyone to burn down their house houses to collect te insurance money and build new ones." what this is all about, it's really intended to help detroit out of recession by subsidizing new car purchases. maybe that's why the president's c.e.o. alliance of the automobile manufacturers wrote
asking all senators to support this program as well as the united autoworkers legislative director who called this provision -- quote -- "the single most important step congress can take right now to assist the auto industry." haven't congress done enough for the auto industry? when is $85 billion not enough? -- not enough for the auto industry? lastly, this provision is a lemon according to a june 13, 2000, article from the ""l.a. times" critic say that the improvements required in the trade as much as one mile per gallon for certain light trucks. you trade in your old light truck and buy another one that is one mile -- so you can swap one gas
guzzlers for another. so, for $1 billion this provision does not achieve the environmental goals either. my colleagues argued such an opinion in "the wall street journal" on june 11. they also wrote that it was being pushed by the auto industry and is simply bad policy and designed to provide detroit one last windfall. this unrelated provision is an unwise use of hard-earned taxpayer money. it does not belong in this bill and i strongly disagree with its inclusion. there are few more remarks of like to hug. $2.2 billion for so many aircraft. we have bought or ordered 17
more than we need as required by the military. this is not a jobs program, but the backlog of c17's. boeing will not begin building them for another eight years. while it was called a terrific aircraft, the military users have more than necessary capacity for airlift of the next 10 years. these are testimonies to the power of the military industrial congressional complex in this washington, d.c. an unholy alliance between manufacturers and lobbyists -- it brings these things about. $500 million in requested funding for hercules aircraft. on may 14, 2009 secretary gates
said we have over 200 c-130's in the national guard available and ready for use for any domestic need. i have a great deal of unused capacity. that is what the secretary of defense says. we will spend $500 million more for seven more of these kind of aircraft. $3.1 billion in unrequested funding for international programs -- additional funding added by the house majority is to offset the $3 billion of the deduction recently made by the congress. $49 million in unrequested funding for hurricane damage repairs to the mississippi army ammunition plant. this funding was added even though the army advised the managers of this bill that there are no storm-related repairs required at the plant! so we are auto going to spend
$49 million to repair a plant that doesn't need to be repaired. and that no valid military requirement exists for the funding. $186 million is provided above the president's request for lightweight missiles for the corps of engineers anmarinescord in the 2009 or 2010 marine corps funding. the marines corps doesn't need it. the department of defense says it's not needed but we are going to spend $186 million additionally for howitzers build in the state of miss. $150 million is included for aircraft wing kits and installations. the air force base in my state of arizona and additional wing kits would be welcomed. the additional funds were not requested by the administration and i oppose this $150 million.
it end rs the defense base realignment brac process by prohibiting the secretary of defense from carrying out a 2005 decision to discontinue the armed forces institution of pathology. i was very disappointed that the house democrats succeeded in their efforts to strip from the supplemental spending bill the detainee photo provision offered by senators lieberman and graham. this provision would support the president's efforts to bar the release of past defeign lo tableee abuse and protect the troops from inevitable recrimination the photos insight. releasing the photographs does not supply new information of the issue of detainee abuse but exposes evidence ofallied past wrongdoing and put our fighting men and women in greater danger. that's not my view. it's one of our leading military commanders including general
petraeus and ray odierno. both have stated the release of the images could endanger the lives of u.s. soldiers. and make our counterinsurgency efforts in iraq and afghanistan more difficult. that's why i commend the leadership demonstrated by senators lieberman and graham, beth of whom have steadfastly demanded this crucial provision be addressed now by congress. the efforts culminated in the passage by unanimous consent of stand-alone legislation to help prevent the release of the damaging images. so there's other troubling aspects of detainee policy included in this supplemental bill. provisions in this bill attempt to address detainee policy in a piecemeal way that fails to constitute a comprehensive plan for what to do with detainees at guantanamo and those suspects capture off the battlefield and afghanistan and does not include $80 million requested by
president obama to close guantanamo. this is a serious rebuke by congress. and reflects a bipartisan backlash against the idea of announcing a date for guantanamo while failing to provide a plan for what comes next. well, as i said at the beginning of my remarks, madam president, i ask unanimous consent the supplemental earmarks and unrequested congressional add-ons be made part of the record at this time. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. mccain: so in what the american people believe was a time of change, the american people now should know that it's business as usual. a combination of lobbyists, industry, campaign contributions, unnecessary spending is continuing completely out-of-control. this was a piece of legislation that was supposed to fund the wars in iraq and afghanistan.
so now we add billions of dollars to things like cash for clunkers, unneeded and unnecessary and unwanted military equipment that are made in certain powerful members of congresses home state. it's not good. sooner other later, the american people will demand it comes to an end. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: madam president, i just want to be heard briefly. we just heard senator mccain attack this bill that's before us that primarily >> there is still time to get your 2009 congressional directory from c-span. it has intermission on cabinet
members, the congress, and senate, plus maps and how to contact committees and caucuses. you can order it online or phone. >> this week, california congressman pete stark, chair of the house ways and means subcommittee discusses legislation working through congress. he talks about a proposal that would establish a public health insurance plan to compete with private plans. >> at the end of the day, if you choose to have competition, then you choose to have a plan that is dependable and affordable, you cannot do without having a public plan which creates the competition for the private plan. yes, there will be a public plan in the bill. will people vote for it? i do not know -- who wants to go
home in next year's primary and a say i voted against a plan that will provide state 30,000 people in my district most of whom are nonwhite, poor, most of whom are working and do not have a way to get insurance -- i voted against having a way to get them to see doctors and provide medical care. i don't think it will be popular. today at 6:00 p.m. eastern. >> people do not want to think of roosevelt's conservation as a policy as much as a passion. he put aside almost 240 million and acres. now as people talk about these green movements, brazil is a key figure to understand. he was the only to a politician of his day who understood biology and birds and their
migratory patterns and mating patterns and actually did something. >> sunday, the first of two hours with douglas brinkley on "wilderness warrior" tonight. you can listen on xm or download the podcast. >> president obama announced a host of proposed changes to the financial regulatory system on wednesday. it would create a new system to dismantle large troubled companies and impose legislation on certain types of transactions. this is about 20 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. [applause]
>> thank you, thank you very much. please, everyone, be seated. thank you very much. since taking office my administration has mounted what i think has to be acknowledged as an extraordinary response to a historic economic crisis. but even as we take decisive action to repair the damage to our economy we're working hard to build a new foundation for sustained economic growth. this will not be easy. we know that this recession is not the result of one failure, but of many. many of the toughest challenges we face are the product of a cascade of mistakes and missed opportunities which took place over the course of decades. that is why as part of this new foundation we are seeking to
build an energy economy to create new jobs in business to free us from our dependence on foreign oil. we want to foster an education system that instills in each generation the capacity to turn ideas into innovations and of those into industries jobs. as i discussed on monday at the american medical association we want to reform our health-care system so we can remain healthy and competitive. this also requires strong, vibrant financial markets operating under transparent, fairly administered rules of the road the protect america's consumers and our economy from the devastating breakdowns we have witnessed in recent years. it is an indisputable fact that one of the most significant contributors to an addresour ecc meltdown was the lack of
adequate regulatory structures to prevent abuse and texas. it was a culture of irresponsibility. it took root from wall street to washington to main street. it was crafted in the wake of a 20th-century crisis, the great depression, but was overwhelmed by the speed and scope and sophistication of the 21st century global economy. in recent years financial innovator seeking an edge in the marketplace produced a huge variety of new, complex financial instruments. these products such as asset- based securities were designed to spread risk, but unfortunately ended up concentrating risk. loans were sold to banks who packaged them into securities and investors bought these securities, often with little insight into the risks to which there were exposed. it was easy money. while it lasted.
but these schemes were built on a pile of sand. as the appetite for these products grew lenders lowered standards to attract new borrowers, many americans buy homes and broad money without being adequately informed of terms, and often without accepting the responsibilities. meanwhile, executive compensation and more from long- term performance or even reality rewarded recklessness rather than responsibility. this was not just a failure of individuals, but also of the entire system. the actions of many firms escaped scrutiny. in some cases the dealings of these institutions were so complex and opaque that few inside or outside these companies understood what was happening. where there were gaps in the rules regulators lacked the authority to take action. where there were overlaps regulators lack of accountability for their inaction.